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Florida prosecutor drops charges against Brookline detective arrested for Disney World altercation

The Brookline Public Safety Building. Photo by Zoe Zekos
June 20, 2024

A Florida prosecutor has declined to move forward with criminal charges against Duane Danforth, a Brookline police detective who was arrested in January after an altercation at Walt Disney World.

Court records show that in May, a Florida state attorney filed a “no information notice,” stating that the case was “not suitable for prosecution.”

“Because of his standing in this community, his entry into a residential program to address his PTSD and alcohol issues and other mitigating evidence presented, our office declined to pursue criminal charges in this case, and it was closed with no further action,” said Jason Gunn, a spokesperson for Andrew Bain, the state attorney for Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit.

Danforth’s January arrest came after he allegedly shoved and threatened two staff members and a sheriff’s deputy at the Epcot theme park while intoxicated, yelling “I’m going to [expletive] kill you.” He was charged with battery and resisting arrest.

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Danforth has worked for the BPD for 14 years and is an Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was named the department’s “officer of the year” in 2021.

Following his arrest, Danforth’s police officer certification was suspended by the POST Commission, a state body which oversees law enforcement officers in Massachusetts.

The commission is required by state law to suspend the certification of any officer who is arrested, charged or indicted for a felony. The suspension order is in effect until the commission decides to either revoke the suspension or take some other action, which could include removing the officer’s certification or having them go through retraining.

The commission’s process is largely confidential.

“The POST Commission cannot comment on any cases that may be pending,” said spokesperson Alia Spring.

Danforth remains on paid leave from the Brookline Police Department, and the department is unable to make a final decision on any discipline until the POST suspension is resolved, according to BPD deputy superintendent Paul Campbell.